Enter stage left, at least 6 feet apart! Visit the County Seat Theater in Cloquet, MN as they navigate staging a performance amid the pandemic on this edition of The Slice.


  County Seat Theater Company – The Little Theater That Grew

The Encore Performing Arts Center and Gallery has been the home of the County Seat Theater Company since 2008. Located at 2035 Hwy 33 south (on the frontage road), the theater seats 135 patrons on raised seating. The Art Gallery located in the back of the theater is an excellent opportunity for local artists to display and sell their work. Each season is packed with plays and concerts. The theater’s mission is to provide an opportunity for all individuals of all ages to participate in all aspects of the performing arts, bring quality live theater to the community, and promote the performing arts.


The story of the “Little Theater That Grew,” County Seat Theater

In October 1987, a fledgling community theater was a Carlton High School Band Booster fundraiser. It was a unique idea, “Let’s put on a play!” After six weeks of rehearsal for Neil Simon’s, The Odd Couple, the parking lot was filled, the show opened, and the laughs came. The community and the organizers had a wonderful experience, and the band was closer to buying those new uniforms. “Let’s do it again next year and the next!” After three years of being a school project, they decided to form a theater group with its own identity.

The County Seat Theater Company was born. They continued to perform, using the high school facility for 13 years. During those years, the season grew to include Children’s Theater, holiday and summer shows, in addition to the established fall production.

As the productions continued to grow, it was time to get out of the school and find a place to call home. They moved to a quaint little church in Atkinson Township. The first production in September 1999 was Steel Magnolias. The audiences came, and came, and came to “hold over” performances.

In January 2008, County Seat Theater purchased the former Kingdom Hall Building on the Hwy 33 frontage road and began major renovations. The location was perfect, the size was great, the condition was excellent. So much work! So much support! The birth of the Encore Performing Arts Center and Gallery, the home of the County Seat Theater Company was complete.

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It’s a ‘SWEET’ win for the County Seat Theater

The County Seat Theater Company’s production of Sweet won Best of Festival at the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres Festival held in Austin, MN this past weekend. The cast will move on to compete at the American Association of Community Theatres Region 5 competition in Aberdeen, South Dakota April 25-28.

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Roll out the red carpet — the world premiere of “Sweet” will debut in Cloquet on Friday, Sept. 28.

Written by Denise Hinson, the play tells the story of three generations of the Carter family, headed by former boxing champ “Sweet” Clemmet Carter. When an enthusiastic sports writer enters their lives asking to write a book about Clemmet’s boxing days, he discovers some family secrets are better left buried.

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The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) is pleased to announce County Seat Theater Company is
producing the AACT NewPlayFest winning play, Sweet by Denise Hinson. The world premiere will open September
28 and run through October 3, 2018. Tickets are available at countytheater.com or by calling the box office at 218-

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  Theater director comes full circle

Cheryl Kramer-Milder (right) goes through notes with cast members after a rehearsal of the upcoming County Seat production of “Sanders Family Christmas,” which opens Friday, Dec. 1. It is likely her last play here, because she and her husband, Frank Milder, have relocated to her home state of Nebraska after growing the County Seat Theater for the past 30 years. Jana Peterson/Pine Journal.

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